How to be more approachable online

It’s important to make an effort to be approachable for a number of reasons – including the fact that it will help us have a successful career, be more likable and help people feel comfortable around us. In short, life is easier and more fun when we are welcoming and approachable. With that in mind, it makes sense to become more conscious and aware of ways to make people feel at ease around us.

This process is a long but worthwhile journey, but here are some ways to get started. 10 ways to become more approachable:

1. Make eye contact and smile.

According to SocialPro, smiling all the time can come off as insincere or be subconsciously picked up as covering up nervousness – instead, they suggest making a concerted effort to smile when:

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  • You’ve just met a new person.
  • Whenever the other person is smiling.
  • They are telling a joke, or the story they’re telling indicates something amusing.
  • When you’re about to take off.
  • Making eye contact makes other people way more likely to approach you.

2. Use open body posture.

WikiHow suggests that an open body posture is one of the ultimate ways to seem more approachable to other people and make them feel comfortable. If you’re not quite clear on what that looks like, be intentional about:

  • Keeping your shoulders up and not slouching.
  • Leaning back slightly when sitting.
  • Have your hands down and at your side, avoiding crossed arms or putting your hands in your pockets.

3. Put away things that cover your face or distractions like your phone.

Being on your phone or covering up your face, whether it be with a hat or with your hands, sends an instinctive message to people that could consider talking with you. It might be comforting to always be on your phone, but it won’t make you more approachable.

4. Take a deep interest in things that other people are into.

In situations like a workplace, taking a strong interest in the types of hobbies people enjoy or what they did this weekend, makes it more likely that people will open up to you, and consider you their friend. It’s just the nature of our minds that we start to enjoy the company of someone who listens. If you make a concerted effort to listen and bring up things someone has said they were interested in before, they will naturally gravitate towards you.

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An easy way to try to remember to listen more is to ask 3 questions before talking about something you’re very into.

  • Don’t only talk about the other person – just make an effort to let the conversation be about what they are into more often.
  • When you do get a chance to talk about something you’re passionate about, be sure to not dominate the conversation but find creative ways to work the other person into the conversation and pivot back to their subjects.

6. Try new things like traveling to different areas or countries.

According to France Student Travel, “nothing breaks people out of a certain kind of small thinking and closed off behavior like getting out and seeing other cultures.”

It’s hard to deny that whether you’re from Texas and get a chance to go to California or you’re able to take a class trip to France, immersing yourself fully in a different culture is an incredible way to become more open and welcoming to different points of view.

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7. Make an effort to attempt one new activity you haven’t tried every month.

Besides traveling – become a tourist in your own city and have new and exciting things to talk about with the people you meet by challenging yourself to try one new activity for every 30 day period. It doesn’t have to be skydiving! Visit a new apple orchard, walk around the whole city, or hit up that super iconic area that you just haven’t got to yet even though out-of-towners love it.

New ways of life, philosophies, and points of view are less scary when we really take the time to read up on them, watch documentaries and put ourselves out there and are welcoming to people who espouse these ideas. If we make an effort to welcome new cultural viewpoints, we make ourselves significantly more approachable on the outside too – people can sense if you are open to new ideas and ways of life.

9. Expect new people to find you and want to start conversations.

“The biggest thing we can do to help people feel comfortable around us – is to truly be comfortable with ourselves,” says Spenser Baldwin of Omaha SEO.

By expecting that people will want to talk to us, and allowing ourselves that confidence we start to mentally prepare and make our whole approach more accommodating for others.

10.Become very self-aware and ask people close to you what you’re strengths and weaknesses are.

By liking yourself more, and knowing your strengths, you make people feel comfortable being around you because being self-aware puts you more at ease. Knowing your weaknesses is important too – if we know that ‘not asking questions’ or having a closed off body posture is a weakness of ours, we can make an effort to correct it.

Always focus more on your strengths, but don’t be blind to what you can do better on, and think of those things as an opportunity to sharpen your skills of making other people more comfortable.

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Featured photo credit: PicJumbo via

When it comes to being an adult, you'll likely find yourself in many situations where appearing more approachable can really come in handy. Think about social meet ups, first dates, and networking events — all instances where being approachable can lead to new friends, new partners, and maybe even a new job. See? Quite the skill to have.

And yet, appearing approachable is often far easier said than done for a lot of people. If you're shy and introverted, or just plain old nervous in public, then the idea of appearing anything other than freaked out might seem impossible.

When that's the case, social situations can be quite the confusing, and even disheartening, experience. As social anxiety disorder expert Arlin Cuncic said on, "People with social anxiety disorder (SAD) are often mistaken for being aloof or disinterested. If you struggle to meet new people or join in conversation at social gatherings, it might be that your body language is sending the message for others to stay away."

This is definitely something to keep in mind, social anxiety or not. Paying attention to your vibes is pretty much all it takes to appear more approachable, and attract more people and opportunities to you life. So, if you're ready to head out for that job fair, or first date, then take along some of these tips for appearing more approachable.

1. Keep Your Head Up

If you're feeling nervous or shy, it's totally normal to hang your head, or hide behind your hair. But take a second to imagine how this looks to everyone else. Yeah, not so inviting. That's because hiding your face makes it really difficult for people to approach you, since they can't get an idea of your availability. As Cuncic explained, "... they need to see your face to feel like you want to get to know them." So if you're in the mood to be social, be sure to look up and out at the room.

2. Have Open Body Language

As with hiding your face, closed off body language makes it look like you want to be left alone. Crossing your arms, crossing your legs, turning away — it all sends a "leave me alone" message, whether you mean to or not. Instead, try to keep your arms down at your sides, as well as some space open between your legs when standing, as Margrit Bradley suggested on This is a comfortable "open" stance that gives off warm, inviting vibes.

3. Remember To Crack A Smile

If a neutral facial expression comes naturally, then of course you should always do what feels right. But it is worth knowing that other people don't always view neutral faces as entirely friendly. In fact, studies have shown that people often misconstrue neutral faces as slightly negative, according to an article by Laura Schaefer on Shocking and unfair, but yet definitely something to keep in mind.

4. Try Not To Hide

Another way we unintentionally ruin our social chances is by hiding behind things. Think about standing half-behind a friend at the bar, or nervously clutching a coffee mug or book to your chest. These are all ways of trying to disappear, and they don't do many favors in the approachability department. So, as Cuncic suggested, get in the habit of holding things down at your side, and keeping your body open. This will allow you to appear less guarded and closed, and in turn way more approachable.

5. Mirror The Other Person

Mirroring is where it's at when you want to appear approachable. Not to mention it's a pretty cool thing we do subconsciously when we like someone. Think back to times you started gesturing like your best friend, or that time you ended up sitting the same way as your crush. That happened because when two people are getting along, they unintentionally copy each other's body language. According to Carol Kinsey Goman on Forbes, "It’s called limbic synchrony, and it’s hardwired into the human brain." This is something to keep in mind when meeting someone new. Copy their movements, Cuncic suggested, and match their intensity. Just don't overdo it, or it will be totally obvious (and weird).

6. Have Some Good Eye Contact

I know, eye contact can be awkward. And if you're kind of an introvert, it's often even more awkward. But, while averting your eyes may feel natural, it does have a way of closing many a proverbial door. As Bradley said, "When someone is thinking about approaching you they might try to make eye contact to essentially 'suss' out the situation. If you look down or away when they try to attract your attention this will make you look unreceptive and uninterested (it can also be quite rude)." So, however difficult it may be, try looking at people, and eventually you'll get used to making better (and more) eye contact.

7. Angle Yourself Towards People

This body language cue is pretty cool. Apparently, if someone really wants to leave a situation, they will subconsciously angle their feet towards the exit. As Joe Navarro, M.A., said on Psychology Today, "This is an intention cue and we have several that we use to reflect our needs to do something." You know, like run screaming from a room. But if that's not your intention (at least not right now), then make an effort to angle your body towards the people you are with. They will pick up on it, and feel more welcomed.

8. Don't Constantly Check Your Phone

I don't know about you, but my phone is my go-to comfort device in hairy situations. Alone at the coffee shop? Phone. Feeling shy at the bar? Phone. It certainly is comforting, and is a great way to look not-so-alone when out in public, but it isn't exactly the best way to meet new people. As noted in article on, "Introverts tend to check their phone when they are nervous, but this puts you right into defeated body language. So try to avoid checking your phone when you want to feel confident and again try to relax and be expansive."

9. Try Not To Slouch

This one isn't such a big deal at, say, a party or at the bar. In those situations, by all means, slouch away. But slouching can really give off the wrong message at more formal events, such as career fairs or job interviews. As Tanya Kertsman said on, "Slouching makes you look as though you’re bored and disengaged, and leaning forward too much can make the interviewer feel crowded. Standing up straight instills a sense of confidence and ownership of the situation. To the interviewer, it makes you look taller but also more capable and self-assured."

10. Quit Your Fidgeting

Again, it's totally normal to bite your nails to kingdom come, or twirl your hair nervously. And yet, nervous habits like these have a way of signaling to others that you aren't ready (or willing) to chat. According to Kertsman, "Whether it’s tucking your hair behind your ear, touching your face, or tapping your foot, nervous gestures creep up out of nowhere. They can make you look distracted or, worse, showcase insecurity. Be self-aware. Take control by placing your hands on the table or on the armrest." Or keep your hands busy with something else if the urge fidget is strong.

11. Stay In Groups Of Three

OK, so let's pretend you're at the bar, or a networking event. It can be tempting to circle up in a huge group, or pair off with someone you know. But these types of overly-large, or overly-exclusive groups, tend to be less than inviting to others. That's why standing in groups of three is a much better way to be approachable. As Meghan Casserly noted on Forbes, "This rule of three is just as effective in bustling conference rooms as in bustling bars, for men as well as for women. Introducing yourself to a group of ten people is downright scary, as is two who appear locked in conversation." So stick to smaller groups, and watch in awe as people come over to join.

Nervous or not, appearing more approachable really all comes down to body language, and appearing open and ready to talk. Simply pay attention to your vibes, and at least look ready and willing to chat, and I'm sure the opportunities will flow on in.

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